Archive for October, 2009
When the heirloom apples hit the farmers’ market each fall I can’t resist buying lots and lots of them – more, most years, than I can possibly eat.
This fall I’ve put several quarts of homemade applesauce, and more of apple-quince sauce, in the freezer. I’ve been packing an apple in my lunch every day, I’ve baked apples with delicata squash and honey – yum! – and I chopped one up with some leftover chicken and walnuts last night for a great chicken salad.
Tonight I got home from work, wandered into the kitchen in search of something for dinner, saw the four great big Warner’s King apples in the basket on the kitchen counter, and decided it felt like an apple crisp night.
I’d love to give you a recipe, but I don’t actually have one. I’ve been making apple crisp by my mother’s method, which uses no measurements, since I was a kid. It varies every time I make it according to what I have on hand – and what variety of apples I use – but I can’t recall ever having a bad batch.
The ingredients include rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, lots of spices (cinnamon at minimum, but any combination of ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice you feel like adding) and a fair amount of butter.
Peel and core some nice, tart cooking apples, cut them in bite-sized chunks, toss them with a little lemon juice if you want to enhance the tartness. Mix up a couple of handfuls of oats with some flour (roughly two part oats to one part flour), brown sugar to your taste and spices. Toss about two-thirds of the mixture with the apples and put them in a casserole (for a juicy result) or a flat baking dish (for more “crisp”). Dot with butter.
Cut some more butter into the remaining oat-flour-sugar-spice mixture till it makes pea-sized lumps. Add some chopped walnuts, pecans or filberts if you want. Sprinkle that evenly over the apples.
Bake at 350F for however long it takes – half an hour to an hour, depending on how big a batch you’re making; the apples should be nice and tender and the “crisp” nice and crispy but not scorched.
Serve it for dessert. Or dinner. Or, hell, breakfast. Hot, warm or chilled, with or without ice cream or cream. It’s all good. If not necessarily photogenic: